The 1906 piece Nympheas, by Monet became the second highest price for a work of his at auction. It was estimated at £20 million to £30 million. The painting failed to sell at Christie’s four years ago when it was estimated at £30 million to £40 million. However, this time it sold as the result of a telephone bidding war.

The auction record for a Monet painting is $80.4 million, set in June 2008 at Christie’s, according to Artnet Worldwide Corp.’s price database.
“We are seeing a whole new group of buyers,” Philip Hook, Sotheby’s senior international specialist, Europe, said after the sale. “There are Russian, Asian and South American collectors who weren’t in the market four years ago.”

Russian bidders purchased Chagall and Alexej Von Jawlensky pieces. Alina Davey of Sotheby’s client out bid a client of Sotheby’s Asia Chairman Patti Wong to win Tamara De Lempicka’s nude “Suzanne au Bain” for £2.4 million.
Bill Acquavella of New York-based Acquavella Galleries, whose clients include billionaires Steve Cohen and Steve Wynn, bought Picasso’s “L’Atelier” for £3.6 million pound. Another piece whose price surpassed the high presale estimate.

Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Blue and Grey sold for £15.2 and was the second-highest price in the sale.
According to Sotheby’s, the painting remained in the artist’s personal collection until his death in 1944.

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